Submitted by Rose Munsey
Two former Atchison County residents were recently presented Quilts of Honor in appreciation of their service for our country. James “Rollie” Cook (Army, WWI) and Donald Noble (Marines, Korean War) received quilts made by Marguerite Burke Niemoeller, a friend of Dorothy Benson, Cook’s daughter and Noble’s niece.
The quilts are made by members of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a non-profit organization of quilters and machine quilters who volunteer their time and talents to make the quilts. In some instances 20 or more individuals may have worked together to make a quilt.
Catherine Roberts, formerly of Seaford, Delaware, began making Quilts of Valor after her son was deployed to Iraq. She struggled with ways to keep her hands and mind busy. A longtime quilter, she thought why not create an organization that brings quilters and longarmers together to make comforting wartime quilts. Putting personal politics aside, QOVF became a grassroots effort with a common goal of community service to help meet emotional needs of those in the military, much like quilters have banded together in past wars. The quilts are made with love, prayers, and healing thoughts sewn into the very fiber of each quilt. The goal of QOVF is to provide individuals who have been wounded or touched by war with a small token to show we support, honor and care for them. It is not about politics, it is about people. QOVF started as one woman’s dream in 2003 and is now a nationwide organization based in Winterset, Iowa.
Initially records of the number of quilts were not kept. QOVF documentation started in 2014 and the number of quilts is rapidly approaching 200,000.